St. Pete Beach FAQs

Not long ago, Tripadvisor named St. Pete Beach the No. 1 beach destination in the U.S. For answers to all your questions about this spectacular Florida vacation spot, read on.

Two beachgoers walk along the white sandy shoreline and emerald green waters of St. Pete Beach on a bright sunny day.

Two beachgoers walk along the white sandy shoreline and emerald green waters of St. Pete Beach on a bright sunny day.

Where is St. Pete Beach?

St. Pete Beach, Florida, is about 20 miles south of Clearwater Beach and about 12 miles west of downtown St. Pete. It is accessible from Treasure Island (which lies to the north) via Blind Pass, and from the east via 75th Avenue through South Pasadena, as well as by the Pinellas Bayway.


What makes St. Pete Beach a popular destination for visitors?

The minute you cross into St. Pete Beach, you’ll feel that laid-back Florida vacation vibe. St. Pete Beach is renowned for its wide stretches of soft, white sandy beaches, its waterfront dining scene, and a range of water activities. It also has accommodations to fit most budgets and styles, from cozy and moderately priced hotels to luxury resorts.


What are the top things to do in St. Pete Beach?

The beach is the main draw here: Bring your own gear, rent a cabana, or reserve beach equipment if your hotel offers it, then spend the day relaxing in the sunshine, strolling the shore, playing in the Gulf or building sandcastles. Pass-a-Grille Beach, a small neighborhood and beach on the south end of St. Pete Beach, is a popular spot to look for shells, have a quiet beach day, or dine in the sand at Paradise Grille. There are lots of ways to get out on the water as well – from renting paddleboards to taking a dolphin-spotting cruise.

Find all things to do in St. Pete Beach.


Where can visitors find beach access points in St. Pete Beach, and what are the options for beach parking?

St. Pete Beach features multiple beach access points along Gulf Boulevard, providing convenient access to its sandy shores. Parking options include metered street parking along Gulf Boulevard and public parking lots located near the beach access points. There is also a large Gulf-front lot across from the Dolphin Village shopping center, but it fills up quickly. Beachfront hotels and resorts offer parking for their guests, making your beach day easy-breezy.

Visitors should be aware of parking regulations, such as prohibitions on backing into parking spaces, and fees in designated areas. Learn more about beach parking in St. Pete/Clearwater.


Can I drink on the beach in St. Pete Beach?

You can't drink alcohol on the public beaches in St. Pete Beach. Alcoholic beverages are allowed only in cabana areas of beachfront hotels for registered guests.


What water sports are available in St. Pete Beach?

In St. Pete Beach, you can enjoy parasailing, jet skiing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. The beach has several stands where you can rent equipment for your preferred water activity, and your hotel or resort may have options as well. For a sailing adventure, Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center offers tours and charters, including sunset sails and other excursions that leave out of Dolphin Village, a shopping center on the east side of Gulf Boulevard. A short distance from St. Pete Beach, near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, you can see people kite surfing and even take a lesson.

Find all boating and watersports businesses St. Pete/Clearwater (you can filter for St. Pete Beach on this page).


Are there nature trails or parks to explore in St. Pete Beach?

We consider the beach to be the ultimate sandy nature trail, but there are also several public green spaces with amenities like playgrounds and dog parks. These include small community parks like Egan Park, Hurley Park, Colonel Michael J. Horan Park and Ron McKenney Park. However, if you want more of a nature park experience, consider visiting Boyd Hill Nature Park, Weedon Island Preserve, Sawgrass Lake Park or Booker Creek Preserve (drive times vary from St. Pete Beach, but all are worth the trip).

See more information on nature parks and preserves in St. Pete/Clearwater.


What are some popular beach bars and nightlife spots in St. Pete Beach?

For drinks and dancing to live music, Jimmy B’s is the go-to beach bar. It’s an open-air spot with multiple stages, tropical drinks, and lots of space to hang out. Undertow Beach Bar is a legendary spot with an actual river carved into one of the bars. Another fun beach bar is PCI Beach Bar & Snack Shack, behind Postcard Inn on the Beach. Find more information on the best local beach bars.

If it’s a dive bar you seek, Shadrack’s in Pass-a-Grille is a great spot to shoot pool over a few beers. Swigwam on Corey Avenue is a beloved local establishment that’s usually packed with locals. RipTides on Blind Pass is a happening spot to start or end your night.

For excellent craft beer at the former site of an old gas station, Mastry’s Brewing Company (also on Blind Pass) is highly recommended.

See more nightlife in St. Pete/Clearwater.


Is St. Pete Beach a good place for a family vacation?

Several area resorts cater to families. For example, Tradewinds Island Grand, where there's a giant inflatable waterslide the kiddos will love tumbling down – and, depending on the weather and time of year, an inflatable aquatic obstacle course.

Budding naturalists can stoke their sense of wonder with a dolphin-spotting cruise from a local marina. For a fun family outing, play 18 holes of mini golf at Polynesian Putter.

About an hour north, families will love one of the area's top attractions, Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

See more family travel ideas for the St. Pete/Clearwater area.


What are some good restaurants in St. Pete Beach?

St. Pete Beach boasts a diverse dining scene with seafood restaurants, waterfront cafes, and international eateries along Gulf Boulevard and Corey Avenue. Popular seafood options include MadFish, Crabby Bill’s Seafood Restaurant and Rumfish Grill. Beloved brunch spots like Frog Pond and Chill are a big draw for locals on weekends, as are newer spots such as The Dewey, The Helm and Society Table. Find amazing Thai food and sushi at Nori Thai and sister restaurant Basil Leaf Thai. Enjoy American classics at Willy’s Burgers & Booze or Woody’s Waterfront Restaurant or great Mexican food at Agave. Pizza at Vito & Michael’s is a go-to for night owls.

See more places to eat in St. Pete Beach.


What hotel and lodging options are available in St. Pete Beach?

Visitors can choose from luxurious beachfront resorts like the Don CeSar (a.k.a. the Pink Palace), boutique hotels like Hotel Zamora, vacation rentals, and mid-century mom-and-pop hotels like The Saint and Bon-Aire Resort.

See all places to stay in St. Pete Beach.


Is there a dog-friendly beach area in St. Pete Beach?

While the Gulf beachfront is off limits to non-service dogs, there is a small stretch of sand on the Intracoastal side of Pass-a-Grille Beach where dogs are welcome.

Fort De Soto Park in nearby Tierra Verde offers a designated dog-friendly beach area where visitors can enjoy the sand and surf with their furry companions. About an hour’s drive north, Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin has a dedicated dog beach (Dunedin is also known for its dog-friendly breweries and restaurants, so you can stop for a bite and a cool one after your outing). 

Find more information on pet-friendly travel in St. Pete/Clearwater.


What's the weather like in St. Pete Beach?

Life's a breeze in St. Pete Beach. Winter is generally sunny, with daytime temperatures that range from the low 60s to the high 70s or even low 80s. We get very little rain in the winter. Springtime brings balmy weather with light breezes, along with blue skies. Summer is definitely warm (daytime highs can be in the low 90s), so locals and frequent visitors know to spend outdoor time early or late in the day and enjoy long lunches or museums and attractions in the middle of the day. Brief thunderstorms are frequent in the summer months, and also occur occasionally in the fall months. Be sure to take cover during thunderstorms. Fall is a pleasant time of year to visit: It's a little bit quieter, and the temperatures start to cool down a bit. See more information on our average air and Gulf temperatures on our Beaches FAQs page.

No matter the season, if you are someone who gets cold easily, bring a light sweater or jacket, as many restaurants are cool inside.


What are some fun day trips from St. Pete Beach?

From nearby Fort De Soto Park, you can catch the ferry to Egmont Key State Park , where you can relax on uncrowded beaches and do some bird-watching.

For a day of water fun and wildlife spotting, take a boat to Shell Key Preserve from Merry Pier in Pass-a-Grille.

Find kid-friendly fun when you spend a day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, have a meal at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, and then head over to the Pier 60 Sunset Celebration as the day draws to an end.

Downtown St. Pete is a short drive away – and packed with must-see attractions like Sunken Gardens, the Dali Museum and the St. Pete Pier.

For a chance of scenery and pace, head north to small-town Dunedin with its charming downtown, or explore Tarpon Springs’ famous sponge docks and eat authentic Greek cuisine.

Theme parks, like Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, are about an hour away, and Orlando’s attractions are 90 minutes to 2 hours away, depending on traffic. There's also LEGOLAND and the Peppa Pig Theme Park, about two hours away in Winter Haven.

If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, you can take a guided tour to swim with manatees in the Crystal River area (December to April is the best viewing), about two hours north of St. Pete Beach.